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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Annual Report of the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce August, 1880

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Annual Report of the Dunedin

Chamber of Commerce.

Dunedin: Printed at the "Daily Times" Office, Dowling Street.

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Officers and Committee, 1880-81.


  • W. J. M. Larnach.


  • Robert Wilson.


  • E. B. Cargill
  • J. Roberts
  • G. L. Denniston
  • James Ashcroft
  • G. Bell
  • W. Guthrie
  • J. M. Ritchie
  • J. Hogg
  • Robert Gillies.


  • H. Houghton.

Dunedin Chamber of Commerce.

List of Members.

  • Ashcroft, James
  • Anderson, James
  • Aldrich, G. M.
  • Austin, Thomas.
  • Bastings, H.
  • Blyth, George.
  • Bathgate, A.
  • Begg, A. C.
  • Blakeley, John.
  • Brown, Thomas.
  • Banks, R.
  • Beal, L. O.
  • Burt, A.
  • Bell, George.
  • Cargill, E. B.
  • Cargill, John.
  • Cowie, George.
  • Curie, J.
  • Coombes, C.
  • Campbell, J.
  • Clayton, S.
  • Davie, John.
  • Driver, Henry.
  • Day, Edward.
  • Denniston, G. L.
  • Elliott, G. W.
  • Eva, J. O.
  • Esther, George.
  • Ewing, R.
  • Edmond, John.
  • Fulton, F.
  • Fenwick, George.
  • Farquhar, G. P.
  • Findlay, J.
  • Fraser. J. G.
  • Fargie, J.
  • Gillies, R.
  • Gilchrist, William.
  • Glendining, R.
  • Guthrie, H.
  • Gregg, William.
  • Guthrie, W.
  • Heeles, M. G.
  • Hepburn, W.
  • Hodgkins, W. M.
  • Hogg, James.
  • Hay man, M.
  • Haynes, D.
  • Holmes, A.
  • Hislop, J.
  • Haggitt, B. C.
  • Howorth, R.
  • Harris, J. H.
  • Irvine, W.
  • Inglis, A.
  • Jack, A. H.
  • Joachim, G.
  • Jones, J. M.
  • Joel, M.
  • Kenyon, E. P.
  • Kirkpatrick, H.
  • Kohn, S.
  • Leary, R. H.
  • Lewis, George.
  • Lewis, F.
  • Law, R. A.
  • Logan, P.
  • Lees, A.
  • Maclean, G.
  • Mudie, J. B.
  • Mills, James.
  • Maclean, H. J.
  • Matheson, G. C.
  • Moore, C.
  • Murray, R. G.
  • Marshall, J.
  • Mendershausen, M.
  • Morrison, J. H.
  • Meenan, F.
  • McKerras, J. T.
  • McKenzie, J. A.
  • McNeill, H.
  • McNall, John.
  • McLeod, A.
  • McQueen, C.
  • McKenzie, R.
  • McFarlane, A.
  • Neill, W. G.
  • Neill, P. C.
  • North, Henry.
  • Oliver, R.
  • Paterson, A. S.
  • Proudfoot, D.
  • Paterson, R.
  • Prosser, E.
  • Proctor, F.
  • Quick, E.
  • Ramsay, K.
  • Rattray, James.
  • Roberts, W. C.
  • Roberts, J.
  • Reynolds, W. H.
  • Robin, J.
  • Ross, A. H.
  • Reid, D.
  • Ritchie, T. T.
  • Ross, M.
  • Royse, William.
  • Sise, G. L.
  • Spence, E. J.
  • Scoular, W.
  • Scoular, J.
  • Spedding, D. M.
  • Stavely, W.
  • Saunders, R.
  • Sheen, J.
  • Stout, Robert.
  • Street, W. P.
  • Stewart, W. D.
  • Smith, A. L.
  • Strang, J. R.
  • Turnbull, G.
  • Thomson, A.
  • Thomson, W.
  • Wilkie, James.
  • Whitelaw, James.
  • Wilson, R.
  • Wilson, James.
  • Wilson, James.
  • Walls, James.
  • Walden, Henry.
  • Watson, W.
  • Wright, J. T.
  • Wilkinson, T. M.
  • Young, T.
  • Ziele, C.
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Dunedin Chamber of Commerce.

The retiring Committee have now to present the usual Annual Report of their proceedings for the past year.

During this period the Committee have held 27 meetings, besides eight General and Special Meetings of the Chamber.

The Committee deeply regret having to record the loss of two members of the Chamber by death during the past year—Mr. H. Tewsley, and Mr. James A. Walcott, both for many years associated with this Chamber, and successively the Chamber's representatives on the Harbour Board at the time of their decease. The vacancy on the Harbour Board thus caused has been filled by the appointment of Mr. G. C. Matheson.

The commencement of the period covered by this Report found our commercial interests in a state of extreme trial and depression, caused in great measure by the reaction of the monetary crisis in the Home country which followed the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank. Our staple Wool fell to a very low range of value, trade was impeded by dear money and by the extremely stringent policy which the Banks and other monetary institutions were compelled for the time to adopt, and the resulting depression was all the more severely felt in that it followed closely upon a period of very free money facilities and an undue inflation of values, accompanied by much speculation, especially in landed property. It is surely no small testimony to the general soundness of our trade and the prudence of our traders, as well as to the substantial character of our resources, that this time of trial has been passed through without serious disaster, and that in the Otago district comparatively few commercial failures and none of importance have occurred. There is good ground for believing that the bad times are passing away, and that we are now entering upon a period of renewed prosperity. Nothing is lacking in the resources of the country—abundance of fertile soil for agriculture, excellent pastures, an unrivalled climate, facility of communication by rail and ready means of shipment of produce with a short land carriage,—these are advantages which united compare favorably with those of any country in the world, and should enable us to hold our own in the race of competition. The time of trial through which we have passed ought not to be without its uses in enforcing the lessons of prudence and economy and the application of diligent and persevering effort to the development of these resources.

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The harvest of grain in this and the Canterbury districts although it has not come up to what was at one time expected, is nevertheless the largest crop ever produced in New Zealand. A large quantity of Wheat is being exported at a value which gives a fair return to the farmer. A new point of much importance, particularly to the southern districts, has also been established in finding a market in Europe for our surplus produce of Oats at prices for the better qualities which, with moderate rates of freight, will pay the producer. Happily, also, a great improvement has occurred in the value of wool, and there appears to be a marked revival of mining enterprise throughout the mining districts.

The Committee therefore consider that they have good grounds for congratulating the Chamber upon the hopeful outlook for the future.

The annexed statements of Imports and Exports exhibit a marked decrease of the former from all countries, with the single exception of Mauritius, for the year ending 30th June, 1880, as compared with the year preceding, which may be taken as indicative of the prudent action of importers in the curtailment of their operations during the period of depression. The total decrease amounts to no less than £653,000. The value of exports shows also a decrease, but to the much smaller extent of £112,000. A separate return shews that the export of Wool for 1879-80 exhibits an increase of 2,251,305lbs. on that of the previous year.

Through the courtesy of the Commissioner of Railways, returns are furnished giving summary of traffic on the Middle Island Railways for the years ending 26th June, 1880 and 1879; also for the four-weekly period ending 24th July for each year.

A point of much importance in connection with the Railway Returns is the increased consumption of native Coal for railway purposes. The use hitherto almost exclusively of imported Coals over certain portions of the line has been a needless extravagance of the administration of a very hurtful character, involving not only a serious loss to the public of the very considerable difference of cost, but, the payment out of the Colony of a large sum which would otherwise be applied in the prosecution of an important local industry. It is to be hoped that the Government will issue peremptory instructions for the use of local the coal in neighbourhood of its production, wherever its use can be shown to be possible at a cost not greater than that of imported coal.

The following subjects have been brought by the Committee under the consideration of the Chamber at large, which, after discussion, expressed its views by resolutions which were dealt with in accordance with its instructions:—Property Tax, Alteration of Tariff, Otago Central Railway, Harbour Board's Borrowing Powers Bill.

Property Tax.

Resolutions were passed condemnatory of the tax, and proposing alterations.

Alteration of Tariff.

Resolutions at first meeting (24th November) accepted Government's proposals, with the exception of the excessive rates on green fruit, and preserved fruits, and suggested the re-imposition of the tea and sugar page 5 duties At the second meeting (June 1st, 1880) a duty of sixpence per gallon on beer was recommended. The re-imposition of school fees and the land tax were also recommended as alternatives to the property tax.

Otago Central Railway.

Resolutions were adopted recommending its construction as far as Sutton Stream.

Harbour Board Borrowing Powers Bill.

Resolutions were carried approving of the borrowing powers being granted to the extent of £250,000.

The Committee has also had under its consideration from time to time the following subjects:—

Bankruptcy Law.

This subject, which seems to be without finality, has been frequently under discussion. Communications have been received from other Chambers urging joint action in the alterations then before Parliament. On the return of Mr. W. D. Stewart to Dunedin, the amendments were discussed with that gentleman, and after deliberation thereon, the Committee were unable to suggest further alterations to those embodied in the Bill then under discussion, in which were embraced in the majority of their previous recommendations. Legislation has been postponed till next session.

Great Britain and her Colonies.

A second circular bearing on this subject has been received by this Chamber from the Board of Trade of Montreal, in which the Chamber is again invited to co-operate by nominating a delegate to the proposed Convention in London for consideration of a Colonial Federation of the Colonies with the Mother Country, to be held next month. It was suggested to other Chambers that Sir Julius Vogel represent them at any meeting of delegates to be then held in London in pursuance of the suggestion of the Canadian Board of Trade.

Melbourne Exhibition.

At a meeting held April 20th, the following gentlemen were nominated as the Melbourne Exhibition Committee, viz.:—W. H. Reynolds, L. O. Beal, W. N. Blair, A. Burt, E. B. Cargill, R. Gillies, W. M. Hodgkins, J. Roberts, J. B. Mudie, Professor Ulrich, G. M'Lean, and J. S. Webb, with power to add to their number.

It is expected that numerous exhibits of local manufactures and of general interest will be sent to Melbourne.

Fire and Marine Insurance Companies' Bill.

This measure, which took the public by surprise, was fully discussed at a meeting of Committee last month, when the Committee expressed themselves as being entirely opposed to the provisions of the Bill prescribing that Foreign Insurance Companies should deposit securities with the Public Trustee. Further, that inasmuch as the nature of the Bill had otherwise not been considered by the public generally, the Committee were of opinion that it should be withdrawn for the present session. Intelligence has since come to hand that the Bill is withdrawn.

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American Duties on Wool.

On the invitation of the Committee of the Auckland Chamber, the Committee joined with other Chambers in the Colony in a memorial to the President of the United States, urging that the interests of both countries would be best advanced by a removal of existing obstacles to free commercial intercourse, and by substituting an ad valorem, duty on wools the produce of New Zealand and Australia at a rate which would admit those of New Zealand without injury to the lower grades of American growth. The Committee would call attention to the table of imports and exports, by which it will be seen that whilst Otago imports American manufactures to the extent of £93,430, America on the other hand takes nothing whatever in return from Otago. And for the whole of New Zealand the figures are as follows for 1879: Imports, £438,399; Exports, £59,679

In conclusion, your Committee would point out that several subjects suggested by the previous Committee remain over for their successors. Amongst these may be mentioned a Weekly Market Day, the formation of an Exchange, the experiment of a Change Hour—all of which your Committee believe will greatly facilitate increased intercourse between those engaged in the commerce of this Port and the agricultural, pastoral and other interests of Otago.

The accounts of the Chamber for the past year have been duly audited and are appended

E. B. Cargill

, Chairman.

The Chairman, in moving the adoption of the report, said: Gentlemen, having laid before you the report, I will move the adoption of it by the Chamber. In doing so I shall not venture to detain you by making many remarks. We have to regret that during the past year we have lost two very valuable members of the Chamber, whom I am sure we are all sorry to miss on the present occasion. Our old friend, Mr Walcott, was always a very active member of the Chamber, and he has rendered excellent services in connection with the Committee; and Mr Tewsley always took a very active part in everything affecting the commercial interests of the port. Both these gentlemen were our representatives at the Harbour Board at the time of their decease, and the vacancy has been filled up, as mentioned in the report, by the nomination of Mr Matheson. I trust the members of the Chamber will be satisfied with the services rendered by the Committee during the past year. You are aware that it has always been a somewhat difficult thing to keep the Committee of the Chamber actively working, and it has been the fashion in time past to grumble a good deal at the inactivity of the Chamber as represented by its Committee. But, gentlemen, you must consider that work of this sort falls upon a somewhat limited number. I am sure I can say for the members of the Committee that they have given very active and hearty service whenever it has been called for from them, and I trust that their labours on behalf of the commercial community have not been altogther without benefit. I do not quite take the same view page 7 of the purpose of a Chamber of Commerce which seems to be entertained by many of the commercial community, who look upon it as a sort of independent machine, which is to keep a close watch over all mercantile interests and continually busy itself by looking into and raising questions bearing upon those interests. I look upon it more as an organisation to be used by the mercantile community, and its efficiency will very largely depend upon what that community make it. Of course its efficiency depends in some measure upon your appointing good members on the Committee to do your work, but it must chiefly and mainly depend upon the interest taken by the mercantile people generally in what concerns them, and it is for the mercantile men to use the Chamber of Commerce, and to set it in motion in respect of matters they look upon as important. The Committee have, I think with good reason, to congratulate the Chamber at the present meeting upon the very much more cheerful prospect of affairs generally, as compared with what they were this time last year. We were then suffering from great depression, both from scarcity of money and the low price of produce, and although we have not quite got into the position we should like to occupy, still in many respects there has been improvement, and I think we may take credit in any case as a mercantile people for the manner in which a very severe crisis has been passed through without anything like a serious disaster or breakdown in trade generally. There have been fewer failures of any consequence, in Otago, and particularly in Dunedin, than in any other part of the Colony, and I think we must show to the world at large as a very prudent and careful commercial people. This view is further borne out by the great restriction in transactions, which is apparent in the diminution of imports to the extent of £653,000. I may say that that is not due to any want of enterprise, or any disinclination to take the fullest benefit of the markets, but is simply the result of prudence, suited to meet the stringency of the times. A number of subjects have been under consideration during the year, which have been referred to the Chamber from time to time, and upon which opinions have been expressed and given effect to. In fact, it has been the practice of the Committee to seek the opinion of the Chamber at large in all matters of serious importance. One or two matters have been dealt with by the Committee of the Chamber, the most important perhaps of which is the one upon which we agreed to join in a petition to America for some remission of the very heavy—the prohibitive duties upon wool going into the United States. I do not know that in the present state of the political world there, this representation is likely to be at all successful, but it is very much to be desired that we should have something like reciprocity of action on the part of our American friends, and that while we continue to take a large portion of their manufactures, they should be content to admit upon something like reasonable terms a produce like wool, which is a first necessity for their manufactures. I will not detain you with further remarks, gentlemen, but simply move the adoption of the report, and express the hope that if members have any matters to bring forward they will do so.

Mr R. Stout had much pleasure in seconding the adoption of the report. He thought the statistics given in the report were very credit- page 8 able to Otago, especially those that had been given by the Commissioner of Railways, which showed that notwithstanding the depression the traffic had gradually and surely increased. As to the imports falling off, no doubt one of the reasons for that was that merchants had been more careful in sending orders Home; but he believed there was another reason, viz., that our local manufactures were gradually increasing, so that the imports, unless our population increased, could not be expected to keep up to their old level. It was not necessary to comment on the report, for it seemed very full and able, and he felt sure that members of the Chamber would be thankful to the Committee for the exertions and care they had exercised in looking after commercial matters during the past year. He could only say that he hardly agreed with the Chairman as to the functions of a Chamber of Commerce. He looked upon it that the Chamber ought to be a body appointed strictly to watch over the commercial interests of Dunedin and neighbourhood—at any rate, of Otago; because, if this were not done, there was such a thing as competition in trade, and the result might be that other ports would gain advantages which Dunedin did not share. In other ports the Chambers of Commerce strictly looked after their own commercial interests, and he thought Dunedin should have an institution for the same purpose.

The adoption of the report was put and carried unanimously.

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Dunedin Chamber of Commerce.

£ s. d. £ s. d.
Subscriptions from 53 members at £2 2s 111 6 0
Subscriptions from 65 new members at £3 3s 204 15 0
Subscriptions from Colonial Bank 10 0 0
Received for Hire of Room 0 10 0
326 11 0
Liability to Treasurer, 30th April, 1879 50 11 11
High School Medals 10 10 0
North and Scoullar, Furniture 32 0 0
Herbert, Haynes, and Co., Furniture 9 2 3
Guthrie and Larnach, do 18 14 0
Charwoman Cleaning Rooms, to 29th May 16 0 0
Colonial Bank, Rent to 30th September, 1879 21 3 4
J. C. Meadway, Engraving address to H. Tewsley 0 7 6
Printing, Advertising, and Stationery 59 9 6
Petty Disbursements and Shipping Telegrams 31 3 2
Postage Stamps to date 0 10 0
Secretary's Salary, from 1st May to 1st July, at £60 10 0 0
do do from 1st July to 30th April, at £125 104 3 4 363 15 0
Balance due J. S. and C. C. Webb £37 4 0

DR. LIABILITIES. ASSETS. CR. £ s. d. £ s. d. J. S. Webb ... ... 37 4 0 Outstanding Subscriptions 27 6 0 Rent to 30th June ... 75 0 0 Furniture Account ... 54 0 0 Sundry Accounts ... 10 14 6 Balance ... ... 41 12 6 £122 18 6 £122 18 6 July 1st, 1880 To Balance £41 12 6 Examined and found correct,

John Davie, Auditor.

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COUNTRIES. From 30th June, 1878, to 30th June, 1879. From 30th June, 1879, to 30th June, 1880. Imports. Exports. Imports. Exports. United Kingdom ... £1,956,956 £1,314,523 £1,421,887 £1,224,807 Australia ... ... ... 449,309 341,028 419,657 315,037 India ... ... ... 53,114 ... 33,200 ... China ... ... ... 60,331 10,640 52,257 10,644 Mauritius ... ... 78,461 ... 108,732 ... United States ... ... 168,081 ... 93,430 ... Canada ... ... ... 2,644 ... ... ... Other Countries ... ... 20,532 ... 6,956 4,202 £2,789,428 £1,666,191 £2,136,119 £1,554,690 Showing decrease on Imports for past year ... ... £653,309 Showing decrease on Exports for past year ... ... 111,501

Comparative Table of Imports and Exports for the Port of Dunedin for the years ending June the 30 th, 1879 and 1880, respectively.

Customs Revenue.
Year ending 31st March, 1879 £369,730
Year ending 31st March, 1880 344,594
Decrease on Customs Revenue for past year £25,156
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Ships. Registered Tonnage Date of Sailing. Bales Wool. Sacks Wheat. Sacks Oats. Cases Meats. Casks Tallow. Hides and Leather. 1879 Westland .. .. 1186 July 19 895 6620 .. 4471 760 412 Hudson .. .. 848 Sep. 13 1236 3031 112 5437 149 Benares .. .. 1721 Oct. 2 1522 19542 Otago .. .. 1048 Nov. 14 1356 4010 700 5766 134 1797 Invercargill .. .. 1310 Dec. 16 4611 1974 1283 .. 8 Mataura .. .. 898 Dec. 19 2438 3960 .. .. 160 1880 Timaru .. .. 1365 Jan. 6 5444 1875 .. .. 97 Waipa .. .. 1057 Jan. 19 3591 2141 Calypso .. .. 1334 Jan. 20 4403 2658 Hermione .. .. 1176 Feb. 4 4387 2597 Wanganui .. .. 1136 Feb. 14 5025 350 .. .. 72 Auckland .. .. 1308 Feb. 15 6202 Marlborough .. .. 1191 Mar. 15 4964 1665 .. .. 47 Otaki .. .. 1053 Mar. 28 3125 3366 .. .. 100 Canterbury .. .. 1308 Ap. 8 2202 9827 754 10 Leather, 7 tons Kermaria .. .. 443 Ap. 26 133 4515 Wellington .. .. 1309 May 1 1478 10277 .. 1958 191 3 tons Coromandel .. .. 875 May 6 1723 7895 .. .. 9 Oamaru .. .. 1364 May 31 894 9267 2177 2079 842 Araby Maid .. .. 863 Ju. 12 479 9737 .. .. 27 William Davie .. .. .. 841 Ju. 23 516 3752 761 4396 248 BLUFF. .. .. 56,634 Waitara .. .. 883 4121 Jessie Headman .. .. 1013 4035 Hurunui .. .. 1054 4467 26,582 69,257 109,659 5633 24,862 2354 Totals-£1,299,577 £98,693 £2,816 £49,726 £30,602 £2,509 Grand Total—£1,483,921.

List of Ships and Exports from Dunedin and Invercargill to Great Britain during the 12 months ending 30th June, 1880.

James U. Russell,


ShippingComparative Statement of.

ARRIVALS. DEPARTURES. 1880. 1879. 1880. 1879. Foreign ... ... ... 53,876 tons 67,473 tons 38,200 tons 42,894 tons Intercolonial ... ... 96,543 " 99,209 " 96,913 " 119,894 " Coastwise ... ... 101,316 " 121,439 " 121,103 " 132,680 " 251,735 tons 288,121 tons 256,216 tons 295,468 " Inwards decrease, 1880 ... ... ... 36,386 tons Outwards decrease, 1860 ... ... ... 39,252 "

Arrivals and Departures at Port Chalmers, as furnished by Captain Thomson, Harbour Master, Dunedin, for the years ending July 31st, 1879 and 1880, respectively.

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Registered Tonnage of Colonial Owned Vessels, Port of Otago.
Steamers. Sailing Vessels.
No. Tonnage. No. Tonnage.
1st January, 1879 29 6,972 83 8,318
1st January, 1880 25 6,174 81 7,670

Wool Shipments, 1880—

3 615.360lbs., value ... ... £180,171 873,924 " " ... ... 48,219 2,548,377 " " ... ... 118,914 12,131,427 " " ... ... 572,807 19,169,088 £920,111 1879—16,918,783 2,251,305lbs. increase.

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New Zealand Railways.

Amberley-Kingston Section.

June 30th, 1878-79. Miles Open. PASSENGERS. MERCHANDISE 1st & 2nd Class Passengers. Season Tickets. Total Passengers. X's Luggage and Parcels. Total Coaching. Rents and Commissions. Miscellaneous Goods. Total Merchandise. Recoveries. Gross Total. 736 Totals. 241,756 7 9 5494 16 9 247,251 4 6 17,511 9 2 264,762 13 8 5231 13 8 11,588 18 1 295,518 1 3 312,338 13 0 259 2 6 577,360 9 2 1879-80. Miles Open. PASSENGERS. MERCHANDISE. 1st & 2nd Class Passengers. Season Tickets. Total Passengers. X's Luggage and Parcels. Total Coaching. Rents and Commissions. Miscellaneous Goods. Total Merchandise. Recoveries. Gross Total. 755 Totals. 245,153 14 8 6006 6 2 251,160 0 10 21,567 12 7 272,727 13 5 5990 12 3 14,858 2 10 304,162 15 5 325,011 10 6 1165 14 9 598,904 18 8

Comparative Statement of Earnings, Twelve Months ending 26th June, 1880.

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June 30th, 1878-79. 464,583 Number. 1st Class. PASSENGERS. 1,583,415 Number. 2nd Class. 2,047,998 Number. Total. 5016 Number. Season Tickets. 186,709 Number. Parcels and Dogs. 1360 Number. Carriages. 5987 Number. Horses. 6822 Number. Cattle. 175,768 Number. Sheep. 12,379 Number. Pigs. 236,754 Tons. Minerals. 32,305 Tons. Firewood. 95,349 Tons of 500 sup-feet. Timber. 303,410 Tons. Grain. 34,713 Tons. Wool. 213,463 Tons. General Merchandise. 1879-80. 460,241 Number. 1st Class. PASSENGERS. 1,418,076 Number. 2nd Class. 1,878,317 Number. Total. 4450 Number. Season Tickets. .. Number. Parcels and Dogs. 1691 Number. Carriages. 6711 Number. Horses. 6154 Number. Cattle. 162,520 Number. Sheep. 14,846 0 Number. Pigs. 206,661 Tons. Minerals. 29,979 Tons. Firewood. 129,834 Tons of 500 sup-feet. Timber. 229,885 Tons. Grain. 35,670 Tons. Wool. 258,374 Tons. General Merchandise.

Comparative Return of Passenger and Traffic, Twelve Months ending 26th June 1880.

page 15
Commissioner of Railways Office, M.I., Dunedin,

The Chairman, Chamber of Commerce, Dunedin.

Sir,—I have the honor to supplement the statements I have already furnished you as to the traffic on the Middle Island Railways of New Zealand with the following figures collated from the Dunedin Traffic Manager's Report, for four-weekly period ending 24th July last.

On the Dunedin Section, extending, as you are doubtless aware, from Clinton to Palmerston, inclusive, and dealing with the Lawrence Outram and Walton Park Branches, increases are shown in the values of the traffic both outwards and inwards for the period in question, as compared with the corresponding period of last year, as follows, viz.:—
Outwards Traffic—
Increase in Goods £495 18 2
Less decrease in Passengers 82 17 7
Nett Increase £413 0 7
Inwards Traffic—
Increase in Parcels 32 3 10
Increase in Goods 2925 0 2
Total increase 2957 4 0
Total increase, Outwards and Inwards £3370 4 7

This increase in values may be considered a very gratifying one, as it results not less from longer distances over which goods are carried than from greater quantities forwarded, and this, I take it, can be looked upon as an indication of reviving trade. The most notable of the increases in the inwards traffic are in grain and general merchandise. The latter item shows a large increase both outwards and inwards, as you will see from the figures annexed.

Outwards Tonnages.—Increase—
Coals and Minerals 1107 Tons
Grain 297 Tons
General Merchandise 1273 Tons
Total 2677 Tons

A slight decrease took place in outwards timber traffic.

Inwards Tonnages.—Increase.
Minerals 668 Tons
Timber 91 Tons
Grain 1729 Tons
General Merchandise 987 Tons
Total 3475 Tons

A decrease of 767 tons took place in coal inwards.

The quantity of native coal forwarded on the Section during the period was as follows:—
From Kaitangata District 3202 Tons
From Green Island District 3150 Tons
Total 6352 Tons
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And for corresponding period last year as follows:—
From Kaitangata District 2171 Tons
From Green Island District 2644 Tons
Total 4815 Tons
being an increase of 1537 tons.

The traffic at Port Chalmers for the period and for corresponding period of last year is stated below. You will observe a very considerable increase in the quantities. There is, however, a notable decrease in the quantity of imported coal—500 tons—which, taken in conjunction with the large increase in native coal stated above, clearly indicates a growing preference for the native article; and that this preference is not entirely a local one may be gathered from the fact of the decrease of 733 tons in coal inwards on the Section, thus showing that the extra quantity forwarded has been to stations north of Palmerston and south of Clinton.

Porat Chalmers.

Imports and Outwards Traffic—
1880. Tons. 1879. Tons.
Minerals 963 439
Timber 10 134
Wool 7
General Merchandise 3436 1920
Coal 2129 2677
Total tons 6545 5170

being an increase of 1375 tons, wholly in minerals and general merchandise.

Exports and Inwards Traffic—
1880. Tons. 1879. Tons.
Minerals 189 435
Grain 1402 323
Timber 40 13
Wool 65 76
General Merchandise 543 408
Coal 90 110
Total tons 2329 1365

being an increase of 964 tons, wholly in grain and general merchandise.

These increases for the Dunedin Section are of more value when I state that they are a continuation of similar increases in the previous period, as compared with corresponding period of last year, and give me considerable encouragement in looking forward to the probable result of the working for the year, which I feel almost assured will be very much more favorable than any of its predecessors.

I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient Servant,

Wm. Conyers,

Commissioner of Railways, M.I.